The impeachment circus as scare tactic

The Democrats are after bigger game than the relatively minor figures of Paul Manafort, George Papadopoulos, and Roger Stone — the proverbial low-hanging fruit.

As Aristotle observed long ago, human action is purposive, meaning it is goal-directed — mathematical game theory has followed suit.  We undertake to do something because we believe that it will accomplish an outcome we desire.  The belief may be false, unjustified, or even silly, in which case the desired outcome will not or is unlikely to occur.  Still, the action followed a purposive model, and, says Aristotle, it is best explained that way.

Applying Aristotle's model to the impeachment circus in the House yields the following argument.

(A) If Democrats want to accomplish a certain goal and believe that impeaching President Trump will accomplish that goal, then Democrats will impeach President Trump.

(B) Democrats want to accomplish a certain goal and believe that impeaching President Trump will accomplish that goal.

Therefore,

(C) Democrats will impeach President Trump.

So what goals might Democrats be pursuing?  There is space here to consider only a few options.  Readers should feel free to "plug in" their list and work the model.

Goal 1: Removing President Trump from office before the 2020 elections.

Goal 2: Pressuring President Trump into not running for re-election.

Goal 3: Pressuring the Republican Party into dropping President Trump from its ticket.

Goal 4: Pressuring GOP senators and congressmen into running campaigns that distance the candidate from President Trump.

Goal 5: Scaring GOP senators and congressmen up for re-election next year into retiring.

I would agree that Democrats are not after Goal 1.  They realize that impeachment in the House has zero chance of leading to a Senate conviction.  The predictably partisan House vote will be dead on arrival in the Senate, even though the likes of Mitt Romney will probably vote to convict.  In fact, Senate hearings may well backfire if Senate majority leader McConnell decides, as he should, to interview witnesses who are sure to expose the messy and probably illegal shenanigans that led to the Ukraine witch hunt and the Mueller investigation.

Democrats probably also don't take seriously Goals 2 and 3.  They realize that President Trump is not a quitter and fights back, to great acclaim by his MAGA base.  Democrats also realize it would be political suicide for the GOP to abandon the man whose policies have led to a booming economy, who got two conservative judges on the Supreme Court, and who is remaking our judiciary after eight years of subversive Obama appointments.

Political survival being the primary goal of office-holders, the question is whether Democrats take Goal 4 seriously.  Again, I doubt it.  A case in point is what happened in 2016, when a House Republican took the disloyalty route.  I refer to Florida's David Jolly, for whom I voted in 2014.  Jolly refused to endorse Trump after he was nominated, was defeated by Charlie Crist, switched parties thereafter, and has joined CNN's TDS (Trump Derangement Syndrome) chorus.  Given the great success that the Trump presidency has been so far, it would be silly to run away from him next fall.  Have you noticed that the recession noise has died down?  The Dow broke at 28,000 a couple of weeks ago.

That leaves Goal 5 — which, as Yogi Berra put it, would be déjà vu all over again.  Recall that in 2016, 53 House Republicans decided to retire, paving the way for a Democrat takeover of the chamber.  Those 53 scared rabbits either believed the polls that Donald Trump would lose the election and quit to avoid losing or else bailed TDS-style because they didn't want to work with Trump on the off-chance he got elected.

Will the impeachment circus scare Republicans into retirements?  Well, Representative Peter T. King, a 14-term Republican from Long Island, has just announced he will not seek re-election.  The Right Scoop wasn't sorry to see him go.

Other Republicans planning to bail should announce retirement plans in timely fashion so replacements can be fielded effectively — preferably candidates who will not quit when the going gets tough.  Our president will need a strong team for his second term.

A frequent contributor to American Thinker, Arnold Cusmariu holds a Ph.D. in philosophy from Brown University.  His academic publications are available at www.academia.edu and include articles explaining his working aesthetic as a sculptor.

Photo credit: Official House photo.

The Democrats are after bigger game than the relatively minor figures of Paul Manafort, George Papadopoulos, and Roger Stone — the proverbial low-hanging fruit.

As Aristotle observed long ago, human action is purposive, meaning it is goal-directed — mathematical game theory has followed suit.  We undertake to do something because we believe that it will accomplish an outcome we desire.  The belief may be false, unjustified, or even silly, in which case the desired outcome will not or is unlikely to occur.  Still, the action followed a purposive model, and, says Aristotle, it is best explained that way.

Applying Aristotle's model to the impeachment circus in the House yields the following argument.

(A) If Democrats want to accomplish a certain goal and believe that impeaching President Trump will accomplish that goal, then Democrats will impeach President Trump.

(B) Democrats want to accomplish a certain goal and believe that impeaching President Trump will accomplish that goal.

Therefore,

(C) Democrats will impeach President Trump.

So what goals might Democrats be pursuing?  There is space here to consider only a few options.  Readers should feel free to "plug in" their list and work the model.

Goal 1: Removing President Trump from office before the 2020 elections.

Goal 2: Pressuring President Trump into not running for re-election.

Goal 3: Pressuring the Republican Party into dropping President Trump from its ticket.

Goal 4: Pressuring GOP senators and congressmen into running campaigns that distance the candidate from President Trump.

Goal 5: Scaring GOP senators and congressmen up for re-election next year into retiring.

I would agree that Democrats are not after Goal 1.  They realize that impeachment in the House has zero chance of leading to a Senate conviction.  The predictably partisan House vote will be dead on arrival in the Senate, even though the likes of Mitt Romney will probably vote to convict.  In fact, Senate hearings may well backfire if Senate majority leader McConnell decides, as he should, to interview witnesses who are sure to expose the messy and probably illegal shenanigans that led to the Ukraine witch hunt and the Mueller investigation.

Democrats probably also don't take seriously Goals 2 and 3.  They realize that President Trump is not a quitter and fights back, to great acclaim by his MAGA base.  Democrats also realize it would be political suicide for the GOP to abandon the man whose policies have led to a booming economy, who got two conservative judges on the Supreme Court, and who is remaking our judiciary after eight years of subversive Obama appointments.

Political survival being the primary goal of office-holders, the question is whether Democrats take Goal 4 seriously.  Again, I doubt it.  A case in point is what happened in 2016, when a House Republican took the disloyalty route.  I refer to Florida's David Jolly, for whom I voted in 2014.  Jolly refused to endorse Trump after he was nominated, was defeated by Charlie Crist, switched parties thereafter, and has joined CNN's TDS (Trump Derangement Syndrome) chorus.  Given the great success that the Trump presidency has been so far, it would be silly to run away from him next fall.  Have you noticed that the recession noise has died down?  The Dow broke at 28,000 a couple of weeks ago.

That leaves Goal 5 — which, as Yogi Berra put it, would be déjà vu all over again.  Recall that in 2016, 53 House Republicans decided to retire, paving the way for a Democrat takeover of the chamber.  Those 53 scared rabbits either believed the polls that Donald Trump would lose the election and quit to avoid losing or else bailed TDS-style because they didn't want to work with Trump on the off-chance he got elected.

Will the impeachment circus scare Republicans into retirements?  Well, Representative Peter T. King, a 14-term Republican from Long Island, has just announced he will not seek re-election.  The Right Scoop wasn't sorry to see him go.

Other Republicans planning to bail should announce retirement plans in timely fashion so replacements can be fielded effectively — preferably candidates who will not quit when the going gets tough.  Our president will need a strong team for his second term.

A frequent contributor to American Thinker, Arnold Cusmariu holds a Ph.D. in philosophy from Brown University.  His academic publications are available at www.academia.edu and include articles explaining his working aesthetic as a sculptor.

Photo credit: Official House photo.